Starburst | Turaffe.

The Brief

Starburst turned to us to direct and showcase their new product ‘Duos’, which combined two Starbucks flavours into one square-shaped candy. The campaign featured an entirely new creature, which in the spirit of ‘Duos’, was also a combination of two things. And what better combination of animals than a giraffe and a turtle?

Our Approach

Directed by MPC’s Michael Gregory, the charming spot from DDB Chicago features a pet Turaffe, ‘Patches’ in his natural habitat – the home. Our teams were tasked to create this photo-real CG hybrid animal. This project was the first to use a completely new fur system: a Houdini-modified tool designed by MPC, which proved to be extremely efficient for such a large and interesting animal combination.

To create this new creature, which we named Patches, the team first had to address a number of questions: How big will it be?

How will it move?

Will it behave more like a giraffe or a turtle?

Before the shoot began, Michael Gregory and the MPC team had to determine the Turaffe’s size, to ensure the scale of the creature as it stood next to furniture was correct, for example. This helped inform the art direction of the set. “We pre-vised Patches’ movements and the set to help design the shots and art direct the correct furniture and layout. On the day of the live action shoot, we had a 2ft stuffed stand-in to help determine the lighting, depth of field and blocking,” says Gregory.

It was also important to consider the impact of the shell during the animation process. Our teams had to think about the restrictions of the shell on the range of motion. Key movements, such as emerging from the shell and walking, took a lot of research and exploration to create a photo-real performance that was believable to the audience.

The results

Patches became the face for Starburst’s 2019 global campaign. Our teams handled the campaign from start to finish, including director’s treatment, concepting, pre-vis, directing, editing, CGI and color grade.. This film marks a continued relationship with DDB’s studios around the globe – MPC has worked DDB campaigns such as Capital One, State Farm and the VES Award winning spot for Hennessy, directed by Ridley Scottt. The campaign picked an AEAF nomination for Best VFX and was covered widely in the press including features in Creative Review and Campaign.

Michael Gregory
DDB Chicago
Production/Post Production
View full credits

DDB originally came to us with a slightly different script featuring a creature that lived in an outside environment, that was made up of two other creatures. We really liked the idea of a ‘duo’ creature but suggested making it a family pet living inside a home to add to the bizarreness, but to also make it more relatable. And so, Patches the Turaffe was born.

Michael Gregory, Director, MPC
MPC Team

Creative Director - Michael Gregory
CG Lead - Boyo Frederix
2D Lead - Rod Norman
Animation Lead - David Bryan
Executive Producer - Karen Anderson
Producers - Nicole Saccari, Sandra Eklund
Concept Designer - Michelle Tolo
Modeler - Kubisi Younis
Riggers - Amar Chundavadra, Gretchen Asmar
PreVis - Tito Fernandes
PreVis Editor - Joe Mackendanz
Animators - Benjamin Tron, Andrew Price, Samir Patel
Groom/LookDev - Kiril Mirkov, Annie Zhao
Lighters - William Laban, Zhenya Vladi
Storyboard Artist - Roger Hom
Editor - Brett Nicoletti
Designer - Amy Wang
Mnemonic CG Lead - Tim Kafka
Compositors - Gustavo Bellon, Patrick Ferguson, Vivek Tekale, Akula Srikanth, Rahul Verma
FX - Jinguang Huang
Bangalore 3D Supervisor - Mark Robinson
Bangalore 2D Supervisor - Rashabh Bhutani
Asset Supervisor - Kunal Sarkar
Asset Lead - Pritesh Krishnappa Kotian
Assets - Gopika Priya, Sandeep Grover, Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Deepali Negi, Ria Banerjee
Cleanup - Jose Jenoriyas
Matchmove - Ganesh Kumar S (Matchmove Lead), Muruganantham Thangavel
Line Producer - Sanchit Soi
Production Coordinator - Meghna Shetty
Colorist - Kris Smale
Color Assist - Eddie Gutierrez

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